Yes, you can build yourself a home gym for as little as $100! You can start even lower than that and I’ll show you how in this post…
Working out at home is extremely convenient. It can help you stick to your fitness goals when your external environment is not cooperative. For example, during the winter, my car sometimes doesn’t even start. Walking is not even an option. So, I’m forced to stay home.
(We have very cold winters where temperatures drop to -45 Celcius (-49 F) for days here in Canada)
Recently, I broke my toe during vacation. I haven’t been able to drive or walk anywhere. Having my equipment at home was really great! I was able to do what I can and stay somewhat active while I wait for my injury to fully heal.
I do love to train at the gym. I appreciate the community and the motivation I get there. But, there have been many times where I couldn’t get to the gym and it was great to just be able to do something at home.
Full disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. I only mention products I personally use and recommend…and if you purchase from Amazon using my affiliate link, I get a small commission. You won’t pay more!
Reasons To Workout At Home
- You don’t have to rely on a gym for your well-being.
- A very convenient way to exercise without the need to drive or walk to a gym. You can save a lot of time working out at home.
- You can save a lot of money by working out at home. You’ll invest in a few tools in the beginning but after that…you’re done. (As I mentioned before, I do maintain my gym membership because I like to get out of the house and do something different. But, I know a lot of people, who are in great shape, who workout fully at home)
- You’ll focus on your workouts without thinking about what others are thinking of you. A lot of people feel intimated at the gym and don’t want to try new things because of that. You may even feel like everyone is looking at you. At home, you don’t have to worry about that.
- Short dance breaks in between sets. Because… why not 🙂
- You can wear whatever you want and workout in comfortable clothes without feeling like everyone is judging.
- A convenient and clean shower afterward.
I’m going to list the essential tools you need below. I know you’re here because you want to know what you need to work out from home. But, let me just say… You can get started with bodyweight exercises and still achieve amazing results. There are so many variations and modifications of bodyweight exercises you can start with.
I actually know people who wait until January to start exercising. So just putting it out there. Don’t let shopping be another excuse to postpone getting started today.
I’ve been keeping my equipment to a minimum so they can all fit in a storage box. Below is the list of all the equipment I personally use as part of my home gym essentials. I’ll explain why I need each item and how I use it:
Home Gym Essentials
I really love this thick yoga mat. I feel like the moment I lay my yoga mat down, I know it’s workout time. It’s like a mental switch. Plus, we have a carpet in our apartment so it’s nice to have something to work out on. I use this mat for stretching as well. It’s very supportive and will help you avoid knee pain during certain exercises.
Fabric resistance bands are a game-changer. They truly allow you to activate your glutes and add strength and even build muscle. Rubber bands roll and lose their elasticity very quickly. Plus, I never really felt any resistance using them. I want to quickly mention that I’ve used a couple of fabric bands and some are just too rigid. These are the only ones I use and fully endorse.
I use 4 lbs dumbbells that I use mainly to warm-up my shoulders and upper body. I also have medium-weight dumbbells (10 lbs and 20 lbs) that I use for upper and lower body workouts.
I use sliders for cardio! They’re extremely challenging and you can burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. If you’re new to using sliders, here’s my video post on core sliders exercises. Sliders aren’t necessary at first but I do find them useful. So you can wait on these if you wish to remain under $100.
A foam roller is an essential recovery to include with your home gym essentials. Prior to exercising, it’s important to warm-up your muscles and release any trigger points that can affect your form and performance. I use my foam roller almost every day. Before exercise as well as a recovery tool.
I also use a massage ball with the foam roller to release small deep muscles like the Psoas, Quadratus lumborum, and rear shoulder muscles. Is it necessary? I think it is. But you don’t have to add it right away.
My home gym started with just one resistance band. I kept adding items whenever I could. Now, I feel like I have all the tools I need to keep myself active at home.
Advanced Home Gym Essentials
The items above are more than enough to get you moving from home. Below I want to share a few items I plan to get soon. I think they’ll be a great addition and provide added challenge.
Getting a dip station would be great! It’s great for strengthening and building arms as well as practicing inverted pull-ups.
I actually need to get a new pull-up bar. The one I own just doesn’t feel safe enough because it has no locking mechanism. My next purchase will be something like this.
Other Home Gym Tools
Other tools I don’t find necessary that you can also check out are:
Resistance Bands: These are great for warming up your upper body as well as practicing pull-ups.
Gymboss Timer: I’ve used this amazing little timer for years. You can use it for interval training and to time your rest time. It’s just a great tool that keeps you on track during your workout.
Exercise should be fun. Building your home gym should be an exciting project. So have fun with it. Make sure you also create some space at home where you’ll be exercising and keep it clean and tidy so you can use it at your convenience.